Macedonia may not be particularly mainstream, but it’s a country with plenty up its sleeve. From interesting towns and cities to lush, sweeping valleys and towering mountains, paired with a favorable climate, Macedonia, in Eastern Europe, is one country you should add to your bucket list for a trip anytime throughout the year.
Winter sports holidays are big business. With Italy, Switzerland and France crossing the finish line in poll positions, it’s rare that other European countries get much consideration. If you are looking to step outside the box and venture somewhere new for your winter holiday however, Macedonia is a very worthy choice indeed. Deep snow buries the mountains and the sun sparkles at the number of ski areas in Macedonia, although the most popular is Popova Sapka. During the day, take to the pistes and when you are well and truly worn out, nestle down in the warmth of a mountain lodge and warm your cockles with deliciously authentic Macedonian cuisine. Remember that winter holidays here aren’t just limited to skiing and snowboarding; there are many other winter activities to enjoy too all in truly stunning surroundings, unspoilt by crowds.
Spring welcomes rising day time temperatures and with it comes new life, among both the flora and fauna. This makes it an ideal time to get out and about and explore Macedonia’s stunning great outdoors. The national parks, Mavrovo, Galicica and Pelister provide endless hectares of land perfect for walking and hiking and the climate during the months of March, April and May means that you can walk and hike without being either too hot or too cold. Uncover the beauty of hot springs, rivers, forests and valleys! The terrain also gives way to all manner of other activities as well, so perhaps leave your hiking boots at home and embark on a horse riding trek, take to the skies and go paragliding or perhaps test yourself even further and try rock climbing. On a warm, sunny spring day, however, sometimes you can beat unrolling a picnic blanket and watching the world go by.
Macedonia may be a landlocked country but that doesn’t make it any less of a summer holiday hot spot! During the months of June, July and August the temperature can reach the balmy heights of 31°c (88f) so swap your classic bucket, spade and sand castles for the beautiful panoramas of Macedonia’s magical lakes. Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest lakes in Europe is an idyllic location and the fresh, crystal clear waters will cool you off in no time. With no tides and hidden currents to contend with, it provides a gentle environment for families whilst couples will delight in the serene surroundings. Those who need some activity may not find beach volleyball or a myriad of water sports on hand but in its place there is the Old Town of Ohrid to explore, the leafy green forest to walk in and plenty of bars to keep you fed and watered. There are plenty of nearby attractions to fit into your time here too, so hire a car in Macedonia and you can be sure of an unforgettable summer holiday exploring this fascinating country.
The autumn months of September, October and November are the ideal time to explore Macedonia’s varied yet welcoming towns and cities. The capital Skopje, which is also where the country’s main airport can be found, is a sensible and worthy starting point. With a long and fruitful history, Skopje is one of Europe’s most fascinating yet uncelebrated cities; did you know, for example, that it is the home town of Mother Teresa? Built on the heady heights of Skopje Valley, Kale Fortress is a staple historic sight, as is the Skopje Aqueduct not forgetting the multiple museums and the Old Bazaar. It’s a city full of surprises and one that will be sure to win you over from the word go. With temperatures ranging from 10-26°c (50-79°f) at this time of year, you can explore all the nooks and crannies of Skopje and other towns and cities without having to suffer extreme temperatures. So, why not enjoy an autumn city break in Macedonia?
So, with the secrets of beautiful Eastern Europe well and truly out, why not set your sights on Macedonia this year? Whether you’re in search of a winter wonderland or summertime escape, it’s a stunning destination to consider.
Kerri Ware writes for Zest Car Rental, a car hire broker offering competitive car hire around the world. See what we are up to on Twitter and follow us @zestcarrental.